Rushees need to adjust

Greek recruitment is a blur. By the time you’re thrust onto campus and given five days to check out your new surroundings, you are expected to know whether you want to join the incredibly large Greek community. Bluntly put, it’s too soon.

You’re expected to commit to something for your next four years within your first week of college. It’s too overwhelming with all the rush shirts, the sororities singing songs and the pre-rush parties (RIP).

The Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council should move rush week to the first week of September, in the best interest of the student body.

Freshmen need time to realize which house they like the best and which group of people they want to associate with for the rest of college. Coming into college, I was noncommittal about joining any fraternity.

I didn’t want to essentially force myself into a corner before I knew what was what.

Within three weeks, that all changed. I spent the rest of the semester vagabonding my way from party to party, counting down the days until spring rush.

Based on my experience, the university and the two Greek councils need to give potential rushees time to get their bearings straight and decide what’s best for them.

Last year the Greek community received a damaging blow. A social ban led to the effective shutdown of the Greek system.

The Greek community was in shambles, left to shamelessly trot out to the 9-0, begging for Nikias’ mercy in the following year. It was a very public struggle, and the events don’t need to be repeated.

But the skepticism still remains. Why would freshmen want to go through the pledging process if the Greek community experiences another social ban?

If freshmen got the chance to see The Row in action, with three solid and successful weeks under its belt, more of them would be keen on rushing and, more importantly, pledging.

While IFC and PHC don’t release numbers until after bids have been given, it’s not hard to envision a moderate decline in bids after last year’s events.

The USC community, Greek and non-Greek, would benefit from the postponement of rush. Starting rush a couple weeks later can prevent the immediate fragmentation of the student body into Greek and non-Greek communities.

Currently, USC is sharply divided between the two communities, with both sides negatively stereotyping the other. This leads to an unproductive and toxic atmosphere on campus.

Delaying rush will lead to a gradual acceptance between both sides.

Freshmen could make friends with each other without an affiliation and ideally remain friends even after joining different fraternities or abstaining from the process altogether.

This is not a proposal to turn the Greek community on its head. It’s just a proposal to alleviate the feeling that students are forced to immediately throw themselves into the daunting and large Greek community that some might not necessarily know too much about.


Cyrus Behzadi is a sophomore majoring in communication and a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. He is also the editorial director of the  Daily Trojan. 

6 replies
  1. Katie
    Katie says:

    While I like the idea of delaying rush and it would work great for the IFC, it would be such a pain for the PHC because of dirty rushing rules. We’re already not allowed to talk to PNMs for the first week of classes, making us seem standoffish and rude, and if you extend that two more weeks, then those who don’t know what dirty rushing rules are/that they exist could easily get the impression that all Greek girls only talk to other Greek girls and are unfriendly. I know that’s not the truth, but it’s a tough line to walk. I personally hate not being able to introduce myself to new people or talk to anyone not wearing letters, and delaying recruitment a few more weeks would only strengthen the stereotype that all Greeks are insular and dismissive of all non-Greeks.

    I don’t think there’s really a right time to rush at all–there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to every time, whether it’s before school starts, right when it starts, a few weeks later, beginning of the spring semester, or even fall of sophomore year. I guess it’s just about finding the least of all evils.

  2. Brian (Alum)
    Brian (Alum) says:

    Glad to see this issue raised. Three weeks into school may become difficult as it begins to interfere with the heart of fall semester classes. I would like to see rush moved to the beginning of spring semester. This gives everybody an entire semester to get to know each other and freshman the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the non-greek aspects of the university. In addition, spring weekends are usually a little less hectic without football season.

  3. ucla sorority girl (alum)
    ucla sorority girl (alum) says:

    Well written and right on target. Let’s hope the administration pays attention so that the Greek system at USC can continue to thrive.

  4. Suni Ellis
    Suni Ellis says:

    Pre-rush was incredibly helpful when it allowed for 4 nights of consecutive open house parties – open to all students – giving freshmen and other rushing students the chance to see the different houses interacting in their natural environments while allowing rushees time to see more of The Row. This new policy by IFC and the University to curb drinking/parties/events has negatively created exactly what this article states: it forces potential new members to pick a house after only seeing them after a few days of blasé IFC-enforced events (i.e. everyone has to do a BBQ on the same night, etc.). These policies tend to hurt the smaller chapters the most because if rushees are only given a very limited amount of time to make the decision about joining a house, they are less likely to venture to the smaller and lesser known houses.

    I assume that if rush were to be pushed out a few weeks, as the article recommends, that IFC and the University would keep The Row in a state of moratorium (no events, no booze, no girls, no ‘unfair advantage’ from one house to another) for those extra weeks – which really wouldn’t help people figure out what The Row is all about anyway.

  5. Kim
    Kim says:

    I think this makes total sense, and I agree completely! A lot of other schools wait at least a couple weeks for rush, and I think it works out well.

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